Seasonal changes from winter to spring, and then to summer can be hard on your home’s foundation as it’s when fluctuating temperatures are extreme and precipitation is high, respectively. The onset of spring in Cleveland, OH, brings a deluge of melting snow, which can cause unwelcome water damage to your foundation. Heavy rains will follow in spring and summer and complete the damage started by springtime’s thawing snow.
Get a head start and protect your foundation from the effects of flooding and precipitation.
Signs of a Damaged Foundation
When inspecting the foundation for damage, pay attention to these signs:
- Leaning chimney
- Windows without existing issues suddenly refuse to close
- Ceramic tiles on a concrete floor start cracking
- Steps pulling away
- Cracks over the doorways, windows, and where the wall and ceilings meet
- Various foundation wall cracks
- Doors jamming or failing to latch regularly
Now that you know what to look for in a damaged foundation, here are handy measures you can take to protect it from seasonal damage.
Check for Cracks
Inspect the foundation walls and make sure there are no cracks in the making. You should also look for cracks in the drywall that could lead to water seepage by the foundation. If you find any cracks, call the foundation experts and have them fixed right away.
Check for Drainage Problems
If water pools around the house, it causes the soil to expand, dramatically putting stress on the foundation walls. Water can also seep into the foundation and compromise your house’s structural integrity. Check for any drainage problems that may cause water to pool around the house and fix them. Consider installing a surface drain and in-ground drains to move ponding water and discharge it away from the foundation.
Proper Grading is a Must
Grading also affects water drainage around your home. The driveway, patio, porch and yard should have a positive slope and direct water away from home. If the foundation is at a lower point than the area around it, water will flow toward the house. To fix this, shovel the soil so that water drains away from the property. Call a professional if the situation calls for more extensive repair. This will help save on potentially expensive future foundation repairs.
Plant Trees at a Safe Distance
Trees beautify the yard but can be a menace when they grow too close to the foundation. Their feeder roots may snake their way down to the foundation, damaging it as well as water pipes. Structural roots also absorb water from the soil, causing soil shrinkage that can lead to foundation shift. Ensure the nearest tree is at least 25-30 feet away from the foundation. Cut the roots of any tree that stands close to the foundation to stop foundational damage. Your local tree service should help with the removals.
Clean the Drains, Gutters and Downspouts
Even if you harvest rainwater, you can be sure that the bulk of it will find its way to the storm drain, main drain and sewer lines. Any form of obstruction can impede water flow, causing spillage. So, water will eventually end up in the soil and crack the foundation. You can prevent this scenario by cleaning the drains. Don’t forget to remove any leaves, dirt and debris that may be stuck in the gutters and downspouts as well.
Test the Sump Pump
The onset of spring coincides with the thawing of frozen ground. Melting snow quickly saturates the soil, raising the water table and increasing groundwater. Some of it may enter your basement and the below-ground areas and damage it. The last thing you want is for the basement to flood. So, ensure that your interior drainage and sump pump are in excellent condition and clog-free. Be sure to check or install a backup battery and install a sump pump if you don’t have one.
Protecting the foundation from the humid months of summer is crucial to ensuring the integrity of your home. You can alleviate foundation damage due to poor pre-construction soil preparation, invasive roots, drainage issues, and plumbing leaks by implementing the above tips.
If you need personalized foundation solutions, schedule a free foundation repair inspection today. We’re happy to undertake the necessary repairs and other measures to keep your foundation dry and strong.